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Old 11-17-2021, 10:43 AM   #1
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Houston , Texas
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Question Best Fueling station brands for Sprinter-approved Diesel (B5 or B0)

Hi all,
So, Iíve searched the forums and the web and still canít find great info on this. So either:
A. My search skills are lacking
B. The info isnít readily available
C. My brain is fried trying to deal with selling my home, packing and shipping stuff and vehicle cross-county, hours spent trying to decipher the airstream and MB manuals for our new 2022 AI 24GT which will be used to transport me and my wife, our three cats and whatever we can safely load in AI to PA before Thanksgiving.
D. All of the above

What I do know:
-Mercedes says B5 or lower, B20 IF you canít find anything else, but use with various precautions/tips (some good ones in the threads I did find)
-most major truck stops use B20
-pump labeling and laws re biodiesel varies state to state
-most diesel in stations is at least a B5 blend

So, are there any of the auto brands that are known to have low bio ULSD?

Also, Iíve been paying A LOT more attention to things like awnings and overhangs at gas stations and drive-throughs. Many are not labeled with clearance. How do you manage that for your AIís? What sort of margin of error do you use when assessing whether to take your AI if itís questionable?

Thanks all. Really appreciate the help.

GeoExplorer (aka Kristin)
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Old 11-17-2021, 10:56 AM   #2
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I'll defer to smarter people than me re: which gas types. in the past few years of driving our Interstate we have been just using the regular Diesel #2 that are at gas stations but going to the ones that are frequently used by truckers, along major highways. I've heard that some of the "diesel pumps that are sitting far in the back of a remote gas station" might have bad/stale diesel in the pumps...so we avoid those. the sprinter owners manual has a section on B20 / biodiesel that's worth reading. suggest you check that out.

"Continuous use of fuels with bio-diesel con‐ tent over 5% (B20 fuels) can lead to fuel filter. clogging. Deposits may also form on the fuel injector. This may reduce the engine output. Unburned fuel can get into the oil pan. This causes the engine oil level to rise. This can cause engine mechanical damage."

re: CLEARANCE: our 2021 AI GL 4x4 is about 10' high. we use RV Trip Wizard (which has some low clearance alerts built into its route mapping engine). if the clearance is 11' or lower, I don't go that route. haven't yet run into a problem at a gas station. we haven't done any drive through restaurants in our AI....but we've seen some crazy videos online of people in 5th wheels trying to navigate them
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Old 11-17-2021, 11:23 AM   #3
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I've found ULSD (B5 or less) at just about every Chevron, Shell and Texaco in the West. Sometimes you have to keep looking and the pump labeling is not consistent, I noticed a lot of times the B-20 label is on the pump handle itself or on the square button, but the green ULSD label is usually on the pump face. You are correct that most truck stops have B-20 and high prices at that, I don't generally stop at them. California may be a bit different, I am heading there next week, first time with the Sprinter so I'm a little concerned. The biggest thing if you have to use some B-20 is to burn it, don't store the rig with B-20 in it. You probably already know if you use a lot of B-20 to shorten fuel filter and oil change intervals.

As far as clearance, a station would have to be pretty old to have such a low clearance that an AI couldn't fit, IMHO. Possibly a problem in the Midwest and East but have never had an issue in the West, perhaps some Eastern/Midwest folks will drop by.

Also worth mentioning, beware of BP stations that use green pump handles for gasoline.
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Old 11-17-2021, 01:07 PM   #4
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Never any problems with any ones diesel fuelÖcoast to coastÖ
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Old 11-17-2021, 01:45 PM   #5
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Never any problems with any ones diesel fuelÖcoast to coastÖ
Easy for you to say.....If you owned a MB Sprinter van like the OP, you most likely would have encountered issues in finding recommended B5 or less bio diesel!
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Old 11-17-2021, 03:08 PM   #6
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We struggled to find low bio #2 diesel in Illinois. Stickers all say the pumps *may* deliver up to B20, but they don't say what's in their storage tanks right now. So, in IL, it's generally a gamble.

At one station in IL the fuel buyer was in the shop that day, and he told us that his tanks had B11 in them right now. Also, because of the way IL fuel tax structure works, he prefers to stock B10 or B11 because right at B10 is where the fuel tax breaks begin so he can sell his fuel at prices competitive against other stations. He said he's always in a balancing act, because B10 is great for his tax situation, but as bio content goes up, the cost starts to climb again. So, for him and his station, B10 - B11 is where it's at. Sadly, not one other station we stopped at in the entire state had any idea what was in their tanks. We don't dislike IL per-se, but we sure disliked having to buy diesel fuel there.
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Old 11-17-2021, 07:47 PM   #7
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Fuel Additive Question

Given these fuel concerns, is anyone using fuel additives in their Sprinter chassis? I haven't checked for any advisories - or checked any Sprinter sites yet but I do use additives in our Cummins powered Ram occasionally and am wondering what is suggested for our AI GT - mostly for injector health - but also to address any water in the fuel.
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Old 11-18-2021, 02:17 AM   #8
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Thanks all!

Some really good tips. Thanks for all of the replies!
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Old 11-18-2021, 04:32 AM   #9
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Be careful of drive through awnings at fast food. They are not very high and with the pandemic we sometimes didn’t have the option to go in so we always stayed out wide away from them and walked up to get our order.

We have a garage with a 10’ door and store our AI inside. We pull in slowly and have never had an issue. There is actually 5-6” clearance which sounds tight, but it’s plenty.

Safe travels.
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Old 11-18-2021, 07:16 AM   #10
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Originally Posted by ITSNO60 View Post
California may be a bit different, I am heading there next week, first time with the Sprinter so I'm a little concerned.
I just took a brief one-day swing through SoCal last week on business with my Interstate...Las Vegas to Riverside County on I-15 and back out on I-10. Expect $4.79 to $4.99 diesel, at least along the Interstates. Fortunately I fueled in Las Vegas at $3.59 and again at a station just into Arizona for the mid-$3 range again.
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Old 11-18-2021, 07:34 AM   #11
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Originally Posted by 85MH325 View Post
I just took a brief one-day swing through SoCal last week on business with my Interstate...Las Vegas to Riverside County on I-15 and back out on I-10. Expect $4.79 to $4.99 diesel, at least along the Interstates. Fortunately I fueled in Las Vegas at $3.59 and again at a station just into Arizona for the mid-$3 range again.
Thanks, I'll be topping off in Pahrump, Nevada then entering Death Valley but will need fuel again before reaching Barstow, planning on fueling in the Searles Valley area before heading Joshua Tree
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Old 11-18-2021, 09:11 PM   #12
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I doubt that you'll find a given brand that you can depend on. Different states have different biodiesel % requirements at different times of the year. After seeing many pumps labeled 'may contain x% to y% biodiesel' I gave up trying. I now try to buy diesel at credible-looking places selling diesel in high volume. For example, our local Sams has a diesel pump and a good price, but I avoid them because I think they have low diesel fuel turnover.
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Old 11-29-2021, 12:13 AM   #13
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Thanks all. I just made the trek from Houston to NE PA and had no trouble finding the appropriate diesel, even at the major Truck stops. I didn’t see anything other than ULSD with no biofuel percent posted, so assuming it was all B5, or a lot of places are not properly labeling which also wouldn’t surprise me.

Thanks again for the responses!
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Old 11-29-2021, 08:50 PM   #14
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We FINALLY found Phillips 66 (maybe) doesnít contain as much Biodiesel as most the stations around, at least here in Iowa. Iím a bit shocked stations arenít required to report the percentage of biodiesel in a more clear manner. We looked for months trying to find a station with less content. We had just discovered the Phillips 66s and another customer of theirs when our MB dealership clued us in to the same fact.

We have a couple of members around this area, so if you are curious, the Station gas stations in North Liberty and near Fairfax looks not to be as high of biodiesel (not sure about Cedar Falls), along with the Philips 66 near Menards in Iowa City, which is just a bit off Interstate 80 for anyone going across the state/country too.
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